In the not too distant past, most people were not aware that there was an alternative option to a full-service funeral.  In this guest blog, Pure Cremation explain how demand has grown and why.

When the death of a loved one occurred the accepted ‘norm’ was to pick up the telephone and call a funeral home you may have used previously or had been recommended by family or friend. Perhaps as a final resort a flick through Yellow Pages. However, over the past five years more and more people have questioned whether they would want to have a full funeral service. During this same period people have become aware of the existence of direct cremation.

For Bryan and Catherine Powell, established funeral directors based in the West Midlands, it began with a single client request “The family wanted a simple, unattended cremation with the ashes returned so that the family could hold a celebration of life once they had got everyone together. ”Demand grew and Pure Cremation was launched in 2015 and in just four years has grown into a sizeable business that attracts families who would rather create their own farewell on their own terms. This growth is driven by the fact that because direct cremation is a simple, no-frills option without the fuss, cost or proscribed formula of a traditional send-off, it also allows family and friends time to grieve before arranging a public or private event.

Conventional funerals filled with black-clad mourners are now beginning to seem a little outdated. For many, the idea of family members weeping in the aisles feels too sombre, instead electing for an alternative celebration of life where everyone can enjoy the good memories. Others want to keep the cost as low as possible, or perhaps there are personal reasons at play. There are a whole host of reasons that someone might choose not to have a funeral.Indeed, the insurance company Over50choices has found that 10% of cremations (or 46,000) in 2017 were direct, and they expect that number to rise to 20% by 2023.

All strata of society are now opting for direct cremation, including global icon David Bowie who  chose a direct cremation, telling family and friends he wanted to “go without any fuss”, instead letting them focus on their shared memories of his life at a memorial gathering in Bali, held a few months later. And more recently Karl Lagerfeld the fashion designer.  Pure Cremation’s Customer Experience Director, Catherine Powell puts it perfectly, saying “direct cremation allows the later remembrance to be more personalised and planned. Often there’s too little time for key relatives and friends to get to a funeral, instead a direct cremation gives you all the time you want to prepare the perfect send-off while taking care of the practicalities without delay. It offers much more flexibility.”

Times have changed and finally funerals are changing, too. You no longer have to accept the traditional formula that your local funeral director suggests – you really can “go your own way”. The key is direct cremation, a simple unattended cremation held separately from the church service or celebration of life, giving a whole new level of freedom to create a more personal farewell for someone special.About 90% of the families don’t come to the crematorium at all. They prefer to hold a personal “Goodbye” somewhere more relaxed and familiar.

Separating the cremation from the farewell has many benefits including: time to create a more personal and celebratory farewell event, the freedom to do this where and when you want, and it’s easier to involve the whole family, even young children in an event that has a photograph as the focal point rather than a coffin.  Many families request hand delivery of their loved-one’s ashes, so they can be laid to rest somewhere that is meaningful to the family.   A direct cremation can save a family 60% compared with a basic traditional cremation, which frees up money that can be spent on a more personalised send-off in a less formal environment.

Imagine your family saying farewell at a picnic in the park, or a favourite viewpoint – somewhere that feels more “you”.  Buying a direct cremation plan also offers protection against inflation – the price paid won’t change, and the cost covers everything with the guarantee of no surprise additions to pay for at the time. Your family won’t have to worry about a thing, except how to celebrate your life.

To find out more about Pure Cremation and the options they offer simply click here

To record your own funeral wishes please download our free checklists here

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